New supervisor tries to spice up experience at the Partridge Pub

Andrew Thomas (left), Korey Leonard and Connor Guzda at a Pub quiz night trying out new drinks. Picture by Connor Guzda.

There were new drinks galore at Partridge Pub on the Norwich University campus, as the month of October brought “spooky drinks” to the bar and a new manager who wants to spice things up.
Eric Rosa, the new supervisor for the pub at Norwich University, has begun to make his mark on campus with Oktoberfest-like drinks at the school bar. The specials began October and will possibly run through mid-November.
“I wanted to do something special for the month of October,” Rosa said. “I personally, like Halloween, so I kind of found some spooky drinks that were easy to make.” These five new drinks include a 14th Star Brewery Oktoberfest Beer ($6) and four new mixed drinks each costing $5.

Rosa is happy to give out the recipes for the four mixed drinks, two of which were the most popular among customers trying the new specials. The Witches Brew has melon liqueur, lemon lime soda and orange juice. The other is Sweet Poison, which has rum, coconut rum, and blue liqueur pineapple juice.
Students have appreciated the effort to bring some new variety to the pub. “I have tried the Witches Brew, and I liked it,” said Morgan Woods, the regimental commander, a 21-year-old senior majoring in psychology, from Newton, Mass. “It tastes a lot like a green apple Jolly Rancher.”
“It really goes with the Halloween theme, if you’re trying to go with the greens, the blacks and oranges,” Woods said, “I think the Jack-o-lantern captures that orange hue and the Witches Brew is that bright green that you see in the witch colors and of course it tastes good.”
For folks who may not be keen on mixed drinks, there are other options.
“I am a big fan of beer and I like trying different types of beers,” said Emily Thomas, 21, who was once a student on campus two years ago and was visiting from Southeastern Louisiana University.
“It’s my first time trying the 14th Star Oktoberfest beer. It’s got a little hoppy flavor and has a nice little bite at the end,” she said.
A longtime customer of the bar is senior Katelynn Baumann, 22, a major in sports medicine, from North Stonington, Conn. She said that her go-to drink is “sex on the beach, always. Other than that I tell them just something sweet”
Baumann has never tried the new Oktoberfest specials and said that “whatever’s on the board I’d go for.” But she added, “I probably would go for (Witches Brew) next.”
For a long time, the bar didn’t have any manager solely in charge of overseeing and changing things up at the bar. “There wasn’t anybody in charge of it as far as making new drinks,” Rosa said “we kind of played it off with what we had.”
With the pub under new management, Rosa hopes to make it more interesting for students to come in more often and have more options to choose from. One of the concerns for the new manager was worry about the newly drinking-aged students who never have been to a bar before.
“I remember when I turned 21” Rosa said, “going into that bar for the first time was very nerve-racking.” Rosa wants to encourage newly of age students to come check out the pub. He noted there are benefits to coming to this bar first, especially for first-time drinkers and bar experiences.
“This is a very good starter bar because it’s right on campus, so you can just walk right back to your room when you’re done,” agreed Noah Huesling, 22, a senior majoring in environmental science from Evansville, Ind. “You don’t need to worry about getting a DD (designated driver), you can just go back when you are ready.” Woods said that the bar helps students stay with in the school’s policy of alcohol on campus, preventing VAP’s and other possible disciplinary issues.
“The staff are much more friendly than a lot of bars that I have been to.” Huesling said. Huesling commented that most bars will try to mess with first timers, especially if the person comes with friends and the friends orders the drinks for them.
And of course it wouldn’t be a Norwich Pub if it didn’t have its own secret drinks menu. “There’s the Norwich Forever menu,” Huesling said. “It’s not a secret, it’s just a Norwich thing, all the names are based off Norwich terminology.” Such names include the Up 500, the frat charge, and the VAP.
While the pub may have its benefits, some students complain there are downsides, such as the fact that they wanted more variety with their drinks. “They need to offer more variety of beers,” Thomas said, “I mean they got the basics but you can get your basics anywhere.”
“I live in bourbon country so that’s my preferred go-to drink.” Huesling said “Up here they don’t have as nice as bourbon, because we are about a thousand miles from bourbon country.” Huesling also added that in terms of experimenting with drinks, students are limited in options.
But Rosa is adamant that the Norwich pub is better than other colleges, mainly since the school actually has a full bar. “I’ve seen other schools with bars, but never to this extent,” Rosa said. “I’ve seen them do beer and wine, but never a full bar.”
Other colleges aren’t the concerns for the pub, it’s the other local bars in town. “My go-to is the Rustic,” Baumann said. The bar is a short drive from Norwich and offers competitive prices along with more variety of drinks and room for people.
The Rustic, as a longtime Norwich hangout, also offers drinks that promote Norwich activities. “In honor of the senior class, whenever I go to the Rustic I will always get a bicentennial,” Woods said. This drink has a portion of its money go towards the senior class gift.
Other bars, of course, are less oriented towards Norwich and have a less school vibe, which may be more appealing and offer a more relaxed atmosphere.
The Partridge Pub can only hold 40 people at a time, whereas other bars can hold more. “If there’s a lot of people (at the pub) you won’t get served for a while, so people won’t come to it because it takes to long,” Baumann said.
The pub also has a limit set by the manager to two drinks, but after that it’s up to the manager to decide if the person can have more. Some students don’t like this part of the pub.
“As someone with a high alcohol tolerance, that gets really on my nerves,” Thomas said, “but I’ve seen a lot of people who can only have a few drinks and stumble around acting like a fool, so I can see where they are coming from.”
“It’s should always be up to the discretion of the bartender, there should never be a set limit of how many.” Huesling said. “So as long as you are coherent and not being belligerent or stupid, you should be able to continue to drink.”
The pub is open from 8 p.m. to 12 at night, Thursday through Saturday, with Thursday being the busiest of days for games and activities. “I enjoy the pub; my favorite thing is coming on Thursday for pub night with a group of friends.” Huesling said. “Outside of that, it’s like coming to a slow bar, which at times is something that you want.”
Having a bar on campus is a plus but some students rarely frequent it. “I don’t have a lot of time to go out,” Woods said. “I have a lot of work and usually don’t have the time or the availability to come to the pub.”
Even though anybody in town can use the pub, Rosa wants the bar to be for the students. “I want to make the pub a place that you guys want to come to, so if you have any suggestions, come to me please,” Rosa said. “I am more than willing to look at suggestions and get better because this place is here for you guys.”

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